Friday, August 27, 2010
Remembering Katrina ~ Part II
So where was I? Let's see, oh yeah, I hadn't gone home yet, but the hubby had. Once he cleaned up a little around the house, scheduled his workers to come back, cleaned out the yucky refrigerators, then he came back to get me from Morgan City. Before going home we bought a generator, lots of groceries, waited in line for about an hour or two to fill up gas cans we borrowed from my aunts camp and then headed home.
On the drive back which is about an hour and thirty minutes, I started seeing signs of destruction. Billboards laying on the roads. Trees down. Road blocks from the military. We had a hospital pass so they let us in. Most people were turned around after they waited in traffic for hours to get back home.
Once we made it past the check point things began to hit me. The only life I saw was helicopters flying above, military in hummer's, large military trucks with tent covering the backs of the trucks. And a few utility trucks. As we moved closer to our home I saw houses missing parts of roofs, chimineys, sheds & fences blown down, trees on top of cars, houses, and all over the road. I knew the military or utility company had already cut a path down our main highway so we were able to get home. I knew I was quiet on the ride back. My hubby grabbed my hand as I took in the ghost town. Very eerie. Most of the westbank didn't get near the damage New Orleans and Plaquemines Parish had. They had major flooding, like over 10'-20'in some areas...
We pulled on our street and I couldn't believe the mess, trees down, we couldn't drive to our house, we couldn't go down our street. Our house is first on the street, so we couldn't see our neighbors homes. However, the hubby had already checked and for the most part, their houses were okay other than one tree landing on our neighbors roof, but it was actually not too bad.
Once I saw everything was okay with the house, other than a small crack in my daughters bedroom wall, the garage doors looked like they were sucked in, the house couldn't have been better. The yard would take a long time to clean, but we were great! Thank you God!
After the relief washed through me, we checked on family and friends houses. Both our parents houses had severe damage. Roof and flood damage. My brothers house and my brother-n-law's house had major damage as well. My brother never came back to Louisiana.
I went back to Morgan City, my parents picked up my girls for me and we all stayed in Morgan City. (Except my hubby stayed home to work) I enrolled the kids in school, not knowing how long we would be there, because our house had no electricity other than a generator. And no water. I drove back and forth when the hubby needed food and gas. That didn't last long because I had enough real quick and wanted to be home with him. The girls wanted to be home too, school or no school we went home. I found a closer grocery store and gas station, and we lived without things I never thought were possible. It was like camping, but under our own roof.
Our office (we have a construction company) was flooded. We worked in filth for months while we fixed everyone else's homes, businesses, hospitals, buildings, then after all that was done we began work on our office.
I skimmed so much of my Katrina moments, but there is too much to tell.
But, there were some moments that stick out in my brain that I won't forget: There is a church across the street from our home and a statue of Mary sits in a little praying area on the church's grounds in the woods. Mary was covered by trees as though the trees fell on top each other to protect her. Not one tree touched her. It was the oddest thing in the world. Then months after the storm I remember Dominoes Pizza opening. OMG! They were the only fast food around. It was the best damn pizza in my life and we waited for 2-3 hours to get it. It cost I think about $30, but we didn't care. It was Pizza! I remember driving to a few hospitals with my husband for work, and one hospital had so much mold in it I couldn't believe how fast it had spread. It was like a jungle of mold up the walls, on furniture, it was like everyone up and left in the middle of lunch, and a jungle of mildew took over.
While the New Orleans and the gulf coast will never be the same, some things are better and some things are worse. Life goes on, and you have to just lift up your head and think there are people out there who have it a lot worse.
I'll tell you a story of hurricane Gustav another time.
Now keep your fingers crossed no more storms hit the gulf coast for a long time. Especially with the oil out there right now. What a mess that would be.
I attached a link of Then and Now photo's from WWL TV.
Thanks for reading,